A lot of people might not want their mother involved in their work life. But, being an entrepreneur, my business needed the attention of someone I trusted taking care of the checking accounts along with my accounts payable and accounts receivable. And, my Mother was, indeed, THAT person! I very much valued her business wisdom and had the good fortune of having had her work for my company for many years as my comptroller and, then after her retirement, of her doing sundry things well into her early 90’s, her very last years.
When I was in my early 20’s and just beginning my business life, I bought the stock of an entire clothing store some 150 miles from where she lived. The terms of the purchase gave me less than two weeks to use the actual store building to conduct any retail sales. I knew I needed to operate fast and that I needed to employ someone whom I had complete trust and confidence in to oversee that endeavor - and that was my Mother. Even though she had a full-time job at Maas Brothers, I knew she’d do it. When I called her, without any hesitation she said, “I’ll drive up there tomorrow and help you any way I can.” Because she was such a much-valued employee of Maas Brothers, they gave her the time off without a problem. Thanks to her great management skills and her tireless work ethic, the clothing store purchase turned out to be a huge success!
A few years later, I returned to Florida and entered into the real estate and auction business. As that business grew, I found myself in need of a comptroller. A comptroller can not be just anyone; it needs to be someone that is not only competent with accounting and absolute correctness but, first and foremost, a comptroller must be a trustworthy person who will watch over your income and expenses just as if it was their own. THE first person that came to my mind for this position was Mother. I was thrilled when she accepted the position! Because I knew that my bank accounts and bookkeeping matters were taken care of correctly and by someone I trusted, I was freed up to spend my energy on growing my businesses.
Not only was mother impeccable with the financial accounting for my companies, she took on other things that needed doing to help my business from time to time. One of the ways I advertised my auctions was to mail brochures to thousands of people that were on my mailing list. Years ago, we printed out gum labels that had to be peeled off and placed on the mailer brochure one by one. To help cut down on expenses, Mother would often take them home with her after work and spend countless hours placing the labels on the brochures.
Another way mother assisted me was to make sure there were drinks and eats at my auctions, which was a very important component to accommodate our customers as well as our staff. This required a lot of energy to purchase such from the grocery and supplies stores as well as the actual preparing of it. She would buy only the very best as she wanted to make sure everybody enjoyed the food she served. That was vintage mother!
At my markets, I am reminded of my Mother every time I see a vendor that has “momma” running the cash register. It’s a smart move for any business person to have someone they trust handling the money.
The benefit of having such a genuinely caring person, who was also my loving, caring Mother, working in my business was indeed a Godsend. Having my Mother “so involved in my business” was one of the best decisions of my business life!